Sensitive Words: Explosions, Rumors and More

Sensitive Words: Explosions, Rumors and More

As of June 9, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Concerning the Explosion at Beijing’s Taiyanggong power plant on June 6:

  • Taiyanggong + explosion (太阳宫+爆炸)
  • Taiyanggong + thermal power station (太阳宫+热电厂)
  • thermal power station + explosion (热电厂+爆炸)
  • Beijing + loud sound (北京+巨响)
  • Beijing + explosion occurred (北京+发生爆炸)


  • Li Wangyang (李旺阳): The democracy activist, on medical release after 22 years in prison, was found dead in his hospital room on June 6, his neck in a noose tied to the window bars. The hospital staff and security personnel insist Li committed suicide, but his family contends this is impossible, given Li’s fragile state and that he was found with both feet on the ground.
  • Tang Can (汤灿): Known for singing patriotic songs, an online rumor has spread that Tang has received a 15-year prison sentence for corruption and espionage. Her assistant denies the allegation.

Concerning the Alleged Liaison between Zhang Ziyi and Bo Xilai:

  • Zhang Ziyi + restricted from leaving the country (章子怡+限制出境)
  • Zhang Ziyi + accept investigation (章子怡+接受调查)
  • Big Mac (巨无霸): retest

Concerning April Demonstrations in Chongqing’s Wansheng district (Retest):

  • protest (抗议)
  • Qijiang (綦江): The Chongqing district to be merged with Wansheng.
  • Chongqing (重庆)
  • Huang Qifan (黄奇帆): Mayor of Chongqing.
  • Zhang Dejiang (张德江): Succeeded Bo Xilai as Chongqing Committee Secretary in March.


  • Chinese Human Rights Defenders (维权网): U.S.-based human rights monitor.


Note: All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results. CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina Weibo search.

CDT independently tests the keywords before posting them, but some searches later become accessible again. We welcome readers to contribute to this project so that we can include the most up-to-date information. To add words, check out the form at the bottom of CDT Chinese’s latest sensitive words post.


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